"Reborn babies" are freakishly lifelike dolls in every respect, from their mohair hair and eyelashes to their realistic breathing and actual beating inside their chest. The act of caring for these dolls, which also have the weight of real babies, is known as "reborning" a hobby mostly done by adult women. Their skin is cold, however, causing some to call it morbid, likening it to holding dead babies.
The vinyl babies are being sold over the internet and come with detailed features like skin that has been painted multiple times over to create the realistic texture and blotchy appearance of a real newborn's skin.
Some people call it "cuddle therapy," because it simulates the feeling of holding a real life baby, an act a lonely woman might do when she has the urge to hold a baby, whether she's been pregnant before or not. Others have them in place of children entirely.
Even Harrods in London, who has "Everything for Everybody Everywhere" says they are "a bit too life-like" for their department store.
As advanced as the technology seems, such as the lifelike heart beats, the act of reborning has been around since the early 90s in the US. After gaining popularity there, it spread to places like Britain and Australia. Like so many things, it took hitting the web for it to really take off, giving people a place to purchase or sell as well as share stories about their experiences.
Reborn Babies UK is one such site, run by Cathy Newcombe who said "The act of holding the doll may have a role in releasing a 'feel-good' hormone."
To view the gallery, click on the main image. If you're intrigued, take a look at some more realistic baby dolls we've featured on Trend Hunter below.
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